Radar imaging and characterization of the binary near-Earth asteroid (185851) 2000 DP107

S. P. Naidu, J. L. Margot, P. A. Taylor, M. C. Nolan, M. W. Busch, L. A.M. Benner, M. Brozovic, J. D. Giorgini, J. S. Jao, C. Magri

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42 Scopus citations


The potentially hazardous asteroid (185851) 2000 DP107 was the first binary near-Earth asteroid to be imaged. Radar observations in 2000 provided images at 75m resolution that revealed the shape, orbit, and spin-up formation mechanism of the binary. The asteroid made a more favorable flyby of the Earth in 2008, yielding images at 30m resolution. We used these data to obtain shape models for the two components and to improve the estimates of the mutual orbit, component masses, and spin periods. The primary has a sidereal spin period of 2.7745 ± 0.0007 hr and is roughly spheroidal with an equivalent diameter of 863m ± 5%. It has a mass of 4.656 ± 0.43 × 1011 kg and a density of 1381 ± 244 kgm.3. It exhibits an equatorial ridge similar to the (66391) 1999 KW4 primary; however, the equatorial ridge in this case is not as regular and has a .300 m diameter concavity on one side. The secondary has a sidereal spin period of 1.77 ± 0.02 days commensurate with the orbital period. The secondary is slightly elongated and has overall dimensions of 377 × 314 × 268 m (6% uncertainties). Its mass is 0.178 ± 0.021 × 1011 kg and its density is 1047 ± 230 kgm.3. The mutual orbit has a semimajor axis of 2.659 ± 0.08 km, an eccentricity of 0.019 ± 0.01, and a period of 1.7556 ± 0.0015 days. The normalized total angular momentum of this system exceeds the amount required for the expected spin-up formation mechanism. An increase of angular momentum from nongravitational forces after binary formation is a possible explanation. The two components have similar radar reflectivity, suggesting a similar composition consistent with formation by spin-up. The secondary appears to exhibit a larger circular polarization ratio than the primary, suggesting a rougher surface or subsurface at radar wavelength scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • minor planets, asteroids: individual (2000 DP107)
  • techniques: radar astronomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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